Had FLA on Feb 8th.

Posted , 17 users are following.

I finally headed down to Houston and got to meet Dr. Karamanian in person for my pre-procedure. As everyone else has reported, both he and Donnie are very professional and obviously very caring toward their patients. The next morning I arrived at 6am, was preped by Donnie and finished with the ablation about 3 hours later. No real pain at all and I was in and out with the sedation throughout the precedure. I found the catheter to be very uncomfortable, it really causing pain at the end of the urethra each time I moved. I got very little sleep that first night.

The next day we had the post procedure brief in the office, along with a shot of antibiotics. Dr. Karamanian was able to point out the results of the ablation. I would make them available for review but forgot to ask for a copy.

We flew home after two more days in Houston and everything went well. I emptied the bag just prior to boarding and once during the 3 hour flight.

The catheter continued to irritate the urethra so much I was dreading the removal. It proved to be anti-climatic as there was only a little stinging as I withdrew it. I wax very concerned that I might not be able to pee and would have to have a catheter reinserted. I was pleased that I had a urine flow--actually a dribble that had contined after 5 days, maybe getting a little better. Hopefully it will continue to improve in the weeks ahead.

I am now a happy membet of the "K" club. Dr. K also mentioned that I was his 100th patient (no, there was no prize), I don't know what number BPH patient I was.

I will continue to post with my progress in the weeks ahead. My main hoal is to get completely off flomax.

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  • Posted

    I wish you well.  Take it easy.  Before the procedure.  Did he do the mapping and show you what he was going to get rid of.  God Bless  Ken 
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    • Posted

      Derek, There are a few difference between GL and FLA and one notice able is that FLA is not done by a Urologist. It is only done by Interventional Radiologist that specialize in the prostate procedures. Not all IR's specialize in this and no urologist specialize in FLA of the prostate gland. 

      Procedural differences are many. One, the GL is done via the Urethra and the FLA is done through accessing the gland through the rectum. Two, the FLA is done inside and using a 3T MRI machine so there are realtime "eyes on" the tissue removal as the doctor is doing the procedure. The other difference is that the FLA is accurate in tissue removal up to the millimeter level. FLA is also done in the heart, brain, kidney, liver and all organs of the body from time to time. We are lucky we have a very good Doctor who has decided to pursue prostate treatments. I think everyone who uses Dr. K regardless of the level of success will attest to the fact that they have never met a Doctor ( or Nurse Donnie) that provide the level of caring and support before, during and after the procedure. Some will say, "yes but you are paying for it" and that is true. But unfortunately they are still the only ones who provide this amazing level of care. It has been 15 months of time since I had my FLA done and I am better than ever. I hope it keeps going. My wife says to stop watching it and what ever happens happens but I can't and I am attentive to every little nuance and fact, every time I urinate. Many of the other guys have just gone on with their lives and do not even think about it any more. They do not participate in this site anymore. I thing that is great but I made a promise to support as many as I could with my experiences and I will continue to do so . There are numerous treatments out there and we are all just trying to get back to normal and get some relieve. Each person should study the options hard and use common sense and logic in there decision for a treatment. The fact about FLA were overwhelmingly conclusive to me. The financial side of it was hard but it was absolutely the best for me. 

      As I said with recovery, it seemed like on a day to day it was a two steps forward on step back dance for about two months. This had to do with the inflammation going down over time and my body removing the coagulated tissue being removed by my white blood cells over time. It's a process but worth waiting for in my opinion. I am most happy about the fact on no sexual side effects. I test and watch that topic a lot also. 

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    • Posted

      John that was a very good post.  I am happy that you still care enough to be still on this site. We all learn many thing from other men.  Dr, K seams like he care enough to even continue with your concerns after the procedure.  That is what we need.  My Urologist is about the same.  I can ask him anything and he knows how I am.  It is time for these doctor to come up with something other then taking our lives away.  Some doctor do not consider the side effects of some of these procedures.  I try to read ever thing I can about any procedure so I know it just in case someone ask a question.  Derek did send me some links from the UK that I found.  They are doing many but these doctor did say that you should start with the procedure that does not cause any side effects.  They say Urolift was a starting point for prostates under 100 ml.  They even compared it with the Turp but that causes to many side effects.  You know how I feel about retro.  Some Doctor's don't care because they are trying to cure the problem at hand.  Anything else does not matter.  We has men have the right to pick the procedure that we feel that we can live with.And just because we are older does not mean we want to give up on sex and all it's function.  This is the time we should be able to enjoy life and all it have to give us.  I also feel that FLA will get better and better and may be approved by the FDA and the insurance company will start to pay for them.  I have been on here for 3 years and I do not plan on going anywhere.  If I can help one man pick a procedure that he will not regret after.  They I am happy.  Take care and enjoy all you can  Ken    

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    • Posted

      Thanks Kenneth we agree on that. I still believe the success is in the picking or the Doctor. I want to tell you that FLA is completely 100% approved by the FDA and has been for several years. It is however not paid by the insurance although I got $4,700 from Medicare and I know of a couple of guys who reported they got partial payments. 

      There is just now enough lobby pressure on the insurance companies to get paid for as of yet. It really has nothing to do with the FDA approval. They just do not have much pressure from he 4 or 5 Interventional Radiologist who specialize in prostate treatments. No Urologist is capable of doing the MRI guided FLA treatment so it has to be IR doctors as they have the training. And not all IR doctors have worked on the prostate and learned the techniques. I am blessed I found Karamanian. He is one of a kind. 

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    • Posted

      No Sir, the FDA approval is not about PCa versus BPH in the prostate. It is written with regard only to Focal Laser Application within the prostate gland and it is and has been approved for a while (10years). I have specifically ask that question and received the written information reference from Doctor K. 

      Insurance on the other hand has nothing to do with FDA approval. It is totally to do with the pressure applied to and from the medical acceptance of the procedure by the insurance companies. We currently have about four Interventional Radiologist specializing in FLA in the US for the prostate conditions. This is not a match for the Urological Lobbing that is done for procedures that they are in fact capable of doing. 

      But again MRI Guided Focal Laser Ablations are approved by the FDA for the prostate gland. This approval does not and has not specified PCa, versus BPH or any other condition. The use of the FLA within the prostate is what is FDA accepted. It is not done by application. If you need me to get you the reference from the doctor I can do so and forward to you. This seems to be confused sometimes with the lack of insurance coverage but has nothing to do with it and was acknowledge to me when I contacted Medicare part G.

      NOTE. FLA for cancer is NOT paid for currently by insurance either. And it falls under the same FDA approval. 

      But it is loosening up some. AS I said I did file and got $4,700 back from Medicare Aetna. Blue Cross private insurance has also paid some other men who applied. 

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    • Posted

      Good luck with them paying you at least something. I feel that the appeal may get a second opinion. But you are correct the procedure is FDA approved. When I ask Dr. K he laughed and said he would not be doing a procedure that was not FDA approved. He said no reputable physician in their right mind would do that. That is when he quoted me the FDA's written approval. And he did say that does not mean that insurance will pay for FLA in either PCa or BPH but he said I could try. 

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  • Posted

    That's my goal to.. I will see after another month or so.

    Jim

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    • Posted

      So you are about 2 weeks ahead of me.  What has your experience been of difficulty peeing at this point in your recovery?  It was odd that I was able to pee okay for the first 5 days after catheter removal but last night it became very difficult.  How did it go with you?

      Rick

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    • Posted

      This is my second time around. Took out more around bladder neck. Things seem to be improving ... One day forward 2 day back is how it goes. I think it's better but sometimes hard to tell. I have a small prostate I think it's about 24 grams now. Only problems I had were haveing to always go and not much comes out and all that peeing made my bladder hurt. I'm feeling hopeful in the next week or two I'll be going good and then I will try and cut back flomax and eventually get off. That's my goal.

      Jim

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